September 2014 in Los Angeles, CA
●21st Century Sex Ed: Beyond Just Saying No
●Adaptive Sex and Kink: How We Do What We Do With What We’ve Got To Do It With
●Alternative Solutions: Sex Surrogate Partner Therapies (SPT)
●Bacchanalia Basics: It’s (Play) Party Time!
●The Body Spiritual: Sacred Sex Basics for Educators, Sexuality Professionals, and More
●The Canadian Sex Work Journey So Far: The Fight For Decriminalization & The Supreme Court Challenge
●Consent: To Make a Villager
●ECOSEX! Make the Earth Your Lover: Heat Up Your Sex Life as You Slow Global Warming
●Envelope-Pushing Erotica: How Sexy Stories Can Change the World
●Fantasy Girls: The Perils Women Face In Geek Culture
●Fascinating and Frustrating: When Your Sex Work Becomes Your Sex Life
●Flawless: Black Pride in Sexualized Communities & Labour
●Getting In and Getting Out: An exploration of the beginning, middle and end of life in porn.
●How to be a Sex Positive Warrior in Public Health
●Infidelity Is More Than Cheating
●In Sickness & In Health: Creating Intimate Relationships with Acute or Chronic Illness
●It’s In Your Mind: What Every Sexpert Needs to Know About Psychotherapy
●It Starts in the Womb: Educating on Infant and Child Sexuality
●Living With An STI
●Looking Down There: Sexuality and Dwarfism, Disability, Illness & Chronic Pain
●Mandatory Condoms in Porn and why we are against it
●Pleasure and Danger on Campus
●Polyamory: The Personal, Political and Spiritual
●PRIDE & Prejudice – Confronting Homophobia in Communities of Color
●Self-Publishing for Fun and (Maybe) Profit
●Senior Sex: Lusting, Dating, and Mating
●Sex, Dating, Kink, and the ‘C’ Word
●Sex & Parenting: Sex Positive Parenting in a Sex Negative World
●Sex Toys: Past, Present, and Future
●Shameless Self-Promotion: Marketing 101 for Activists
●Slut Shaming: The Clash Between Sexuality and a Sex-Negative Culture
●Social Media and Feminist Ethics: #Activism and the Politics of Responsibility
●Specialties in Sex Work
●Strange Bedfellows: joining the sex-positive community and people of faith
●That’s Not Funny! – Comedy and the sex positive movement.
●What about love? Radical sexuality and the new nonmonogamy
●What’s Hot in Erotic Art?
●Working with A Sexological Bodyworker
Click here to register!
21st Century Sex Ed: Beyond Just Saying No
Dr. Hernando Chaves
We all know comprehensive sex education works better than abstinence only sex education. We’ve been taught this by educators, seen the difference with students, and experienced the effects ourselves. But what do we really know about the differences? Former US Surgeon General Dr. Joycelyn Elders calls abstinence-only sex education “child abuse,” but is she right? More than 1/3 of American youth are exposed to abstinence only education and another 1/3 receive do not receive any sex education at all. What effects does this lack of knowledge and power have on our children and teens? How does this impact our rates of sexually transmitted infections and unplanned teen pregnancy? From virginity pledges to misinformation, what are the foundations and tactics of fear-based sex education and their efficacy or lack thereof.
In this session, we will explore the differences between comprehensive sex education programs and abstinence only sex education programs. What does the research say? What do programs teach? How do government policies and funding play a role in sex education? What needs to be added to comprehensive sex education? It’s up to us as sex educators and advocates to break the cycle of poor quality sex education that most American youth are taught. It begins with understanding the difference.
Adaptive Sex and Kink: How We Do What We Do With What We’ve Got To Do It With
This is a “Sex and Disabilities” class like none other! In an attempt to be inclusive, many conferences host one or more workshops on the intersection of sex and disability. However, those workshops are usually focused on educating nondisabled people about various disabilities, or how to create events/spaces that are welcoming and accessible. But a glance around the room shows that the people who show up are persons with various challenges wanting to learn and share tips and tricks on how sex/kink works for them. This is the workshop you’ve been looking for!
Del is a sex educator and professional PWD (Pervert With Disabilities!). He has spoken to fellow disabled folks, sex toy companies, and occupational therapists to find ways people can enjoy sexual and kinky encounters not only in spite of, but because of their disabilities. He invites fellow PWDs – whether their disability is physical, developmental, cognitive, mental, emotional, or social – visible or invisible, as well as partners/lovers/admirers. If you have/use toys or props, bring them along for Show and Tell! Sex educators who want to expand their knowledge in order to have more inclusive workshops are also encouraged to attend.
This presentation covers the advent, concepts and practical applications of sex surrogacy as a positive treatment for various forms of sexual dysfunction. Following methodologies approved by the International Professional Surrogates Association (IPSA), this thought provoking seminar is designed to educate participants on the latest developments in SPT as well as to offer alternatives for positive outcomes with certain patients/clients.
They’re whispered about, opinions are drawn, expectations are high for both attendees and non. The sex party, the play party, the swinger party, call it what you will, to anyone who’s never been to one they conjure up visions of hedonistic abandon, or deeply creepy masked affairs. With so many people looking to explore their sexuality and needing a safe place to do so, play parties have value far beyond a whole bunch of naked people in a room. They can educate as well as titillate. The Life on the Swingset crew, a group known for their parties talk about the value of play parties, throwing them, and attending them, will delve into the concerns both logistically (how to arrange a bedroom so ten people can fit on the bed), ethically (consent, interaction with people, disclosures of sti status and relationship arrangements), and address how to deal with potential issues you may encounter, creeps, left out individuals, and levels of risk aware sex involvement. In this session they’ll be broken down from all sides, the academic idea behind them, throwing them, and attending them.
The Body Spiritual: Sacred Sex Basics for Educators, Sexuality Professionals, and More
From sex therapy sessions to professional dungeons, people across the country are seeking for and embracing the concepts of the sacred as they apply to their bodies, their relationships, and their sexual experiences. Even professionals whose subject matter focuses on the mundane are finding themselves fielding questions about how sexual and sadomasochistic practices can be applied to spiritual explorations. As more people begin to describe themselves as “spiritual but not religious”, they no longer look to religious groups or leaders for spiritual guidance, choosing to use their own intuition and sacred sense to find, define, and practice ritual. With over 20 years of experience teaching sacred sexuality to a wide variety of audiences (including LGBT groups, kinksters, monogamous couples, and Neo-Pagans), Del Tashlin will share ways any sexuality professional can learn to understand and embrace spiritual concepts, independent of religious identification. Using easy-to-understand language, attendees at any level of belief (from atheist skeptics to dedicated clergy) will come away with a deeper understanding on not only how, buy why, more people are being drawn to sacred sexuality.
The Canadian Sex Work Journey So Far: The Fight For Decriminalization & The Supreme Court Challenge
Canadian Sex Workers are fighting the government to change the laws surrounding prostitution (and sex work in general) and have won a constitutional challenge at the Supreme Court of Canada. While there is still some dissent among workers, the general consensus is for full decriminalization of sex work, working in tandem with sex worker organizations to craft changes to existing laws to strengthen provisions against trafficking, underage prostitution and exploitation. The Supreme Court has granted the government a year to craft new legislation to fill the void left by its decision. However, Canada currently has a Conservative government in place, who favour the ‘Nordic Model’ and Sex Workers are anticipating another fight.
Learn the history of Canada’s prostitution laws, why the court challenge was successful and get to know more about some of the amazing people and organizations who fought the government every step of the way. Since this is an on-going fight, this presentation will be dynamic and updated regularly to include up to the minute information about the situation.
Morgan Thorne was a part of the fight off and on during the early parts, but became more involved during the Supreme Court challenge as an activist, sex worker and an outreach worker. She will be speaking about her own experiences as well as the history of the movement.
We talk up consent all the time, especially in kinky community, but at the same time erotic materials (from which plenty of people still get inspiration and ideas about sex) often show play without negotiation or clear consent. Bitter arguments about whether people play consensually, or whether certain incidents were consensual, rage — and communities are having a hard time dealing with them. Robert and Carol have seen these scenarios for 25 years now, and will share some history and some thoughts about getting to informed consent. They also welcome your thoughts and brainstorming about how to handle coercive problem players and uninformed kids in the candy store, as well as how to help create a consensual atmosphere for getting top and bottom desires met — thereby helping to strengthen a sexual culture of passionate play and respect for limits.
What is Ecosex? Our panel brings two ecosexual pioneers together to turn you on to the rapidly growing trends, practices, and disciplines of this emerging field. Learn how to incorporate ecosex into your bedroom, your life, and your work.
Queer artist and sexologist Annie will share how imagining the Earth as a lover, instead of as a mother can create more love, pleasure and sexy fun. Learn 25 ways to make love to the Earth, find your E-spot, and have mind-expanding ecogasms.
Environmental activist and ecosex toy expert Kim Marks will explain how the planet’s woes may also be lurking in your boudoir. What’s really in your lube and sex toys? Green sex doesn’t have to be vanilla sex; it can incorporate plenty of BDSM. Find out why are environmental activists are the new sex symbols and how caring for the Earth is hot!
Ecosexuals can be queer, straight, asexual, and other – what we all share is a radical passion for planet Earth. By the end of this panel you may want to be an ecosexual too.
Erotica can be more than just entertainment and titillation; it can help redefine what’s considered sexy, give readers an expanded way of looking at sexuality and reach readers in ways nonfiction may not. Each of the authors on this panel approaches the topic from a different angle: Shawna Kenney, as editor of Book Lovers: Sexy Stories from Under the Covers, explores the depths of literary erotica, senior sex expert Joan Price, as editor of Ageless Erotica, demystifies sex over 50, and Rebekah Weatherspoon, whose tagline is “Where The Happily Ever Afters are Always In Color,” as author of BDSM-themed erotic novels such as At Her Feet and Blacker Than Blue. We will discuss what it means to push the boundaries of erotic fiction, the marketplace for erotic books, incorporating diverse types of stories and characters and the meaning of erotica in readers’ lives. Moderated by Rachel Kramer Bussel, editor of over 50 anthologies including The Big Book of Orgasms and the Best Bondage Erotica series.
A long-held stereotype of comic books is that women can only have super powers if they are also super endowed. But the misogynistic treatment of women doesn’t end on the pages. Female cosplayers and fans are hit on, harassed and even groped on convention floors and often referred to as “fake geek girls.” Women who work in the comics industry struggle to be seen as equals in an arena that until recently was very much an old boys’ club. Here, insiders of the comics and geek cultures discuss the issues and what movements, if any, have been made in bettering the environment.
As sex positive professionals, sometimes what we do for work becomes the only sex we have. Whether you are the sex geek academic whose writing and teaching have taken the passion out of the physical act, the escort who must choose between lovers and clients, or the porn actor whose personal love making feels scripted, all of us experience these phenomena in one form or another.
Also, most people, inside and outside of the sex industry, can assume that we as sex positive professionals are regularly having lots of great and easy sex. But this is not always the case. As much as we talk about sex, the sad thing is we rarely talk about how our work impacts our sex lives. How do we find balance between our professional scenes, and our private bedrooms and play-spaces? Who do we confide in when our partners just don’t understand? What do we do when our client boundaries get fuzzy as we forget that we need intimacy too? How has your sex life changed since you have become a sex professional?
Join Eve Minax, Sinclair Sexsmith, Amy Butcher, and TTBaum as they bring this unspoken subject out into the light for dialogue, discussion and some creative problem solving!
Marked by gender & race, black women and black genderqueer individuals are often faced with multiple challenges & factors when it comes to their work within sexualized communities and areas of labour, making their experiences unique. In this panel, we’ll hear from black women and genderqueers who will discuss their experiences in mainstream porn, burlesque, fetish communities, escorting, queer people of colour community building and more. Each panelist will bring their own unique voice and experiences to this topic, as well as an intersectional approach that encompasses fat body politics, class issues, femme politics, sexual orientation and more. This panel will also include examples from popular culture, live performance as well as allocated time for question and answer. Ultimately we’ll be exploring the questions; how are the experiences of black women and genderqueers in sexualized communities & labour different from non-racialized individuals and those who are from other people of colour communities? How can we make the sex-positive community more inclusive for black women and genderqueers? What are some of unique strategies that black women and genderqueers use when navigating sexualized communities and areas of work/sex work? What do we as black women and genderqueers mean by “flawless”? and how have we expressed and found black pride within these communities and areas of labor?
This mini-panel, made up of performers Danny Wylde and Dylan Ryan will explore the identity progression of individuals from their entrance into the adult industry, through their time as performers and into the shift out of performing and the complications associated re-assimilation into the mainstream workforce. Each stage of the timeline will be examined through the personal, and auto-ethnograpic experience of the presenters/performers as well as by looking at stories, writing, first-person accounts and research created by other current and former adult industry professionals. Additionally this talk will discuss both the positive and negative impacts that performing has on the identity of an individual, including but not limited to; sociological, emotional, psychological and intimate. It is our belief that this conversation, when set in the academic and professional environment of the Feminist Porn Conference will add to the growing corpus of work that seeks to illuminate porn and the interpersonal experiences of porn for a broad audience.
As the age old battle between public health and sex positivity rages on, there comes a time when every warrior must step forward to defend what they know is right. In this panel, three sex positive public health professionals will explore why public health and sex positivity are often at odds, the overlap between the two fields, and how they can work together to benefit everyone.
This session is intended for anyone interested in exploring these intersections in order to bridge the gap between public health and sex positivity.
Infidelity is commonly understood as cheating. It’s what happens when one or both partners are emotionally and/or sexually unfaithful to each other. While we agree with the common definition of infidelity, this panel explores infidelity’s nuances. By using a dataset of 110 women’s qualitative interviews about their infidelity experiences, we ask women how they define infidelity. Then we consider how technological advances are impacting infidelity and how understanding infidelity as a form of intimate partner abuse helps women identify abusive partners and recover from their victimization. New relational norms are constantly being constructed through the use of technology. These technological advancements create multiple pathways for unauthorized indiscretions that force us to redefine what counts as cheating. Is it an affair if you only interact with a partner in a virtual world? Is watching pornography cheating? Are some social media infidelities worse than others? This redefinition continues in our conversation about abuse. What happens if we redefine infidelity in terms of physical, emotional, psychological, social, and economic forms of abuse? We compare the women’s first person experiences with researchers’ definitions of abuse to determine whether this approach can help women make more informed decisions about their romantic partnerships. Through the technology and intimate partner abuse perspectives, we hope to raise awareness about the complex nature and dynamics of infidelity.
In Sickness & In Health: Creating Intimate Relationships with Acute or Chronic Illness
Robin Siegal, LCSW
A multi-faceted approach to assessing and improving intimacy and sexuality when someone lives with an acute or chronic medical condition (e.g. hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, transplantation, cancer, etc.) or you love someone with an illness. How can you identify challenges that impact your sexual expression- heart, mind, body & soul? How can you improve your intimate communications, your sensuality and your sexuality- whether single or coupled?
Participants will identify these issues in a safe environment, where privacy will be respected. Robin Siegal will provide compelling and inspiring stories from people challenged by medical conditions throughout the US. She will draw upon the collective wisdom and experience of the participants, discussing effective resources available. Medical professionals and psychotherapists in attendance will develop new tools in addressing sexual health with their clients, and their loved ones. Ms. Siegal will share “lessons learned” through best practices for these populations and their intimate partners. Professional participants will develop new insights and perceptions as clinicians. Assessment tools and other resources will be fully examined and demonstrated, empowering workshop participants to effectively manage sexual health and intimacy— for themselves and others.
This session is designed to help sex educators, sex bloggers, and other sex workers to better understand the in’s-and-out’s of psychotherapy and sextherapy. We’ll discuss the DSM and how it’s been used against women and sexual minorities, and where we stand now with the new edition. We will explain some basic pathologies to be aware of, and some common terms that are often misused, such as: passive/aggressive, projection, neurotic. The speakers will shine light on areas that most shrinks mess-up with their clients, especially around sexualities. We will discuss gay and/or kink affirmative therapy, and sex-positive therapy. We welcome questions and discussion.
It Starts in the Womb: Educating on Infant and Child Sexuality
Remi Newman, MA
In most cultures, there is a strong taboo around even discussing the topic of sexuality and children, but when taken out of cultural context, what could be more natural than an infant boy happily experiencing an erection, or a toddler laughing as she touches her vulva in the bath, or children playing a game of “You show me yours. I’ll show you mine.”
Children are sexual beings. From the moment they are born, infants are learning about their bodies, learning how to love and who to trust. In other words, they are learning about sexuality, and their parents, whether they realize it or not, are their primary teachers.
Yet rather than seeing themselves as sexuality educators for their kids, many parents see themselves as gatekeepers, not wanting their children to know too much too soon. Although studies have shown that teens who learn about sex from their parents are more likely to postpone first sexual intercourse and more likely to use protection when sexually active.
It is important for parents to consider that they are their child’s first experience of love, both physical and emotional. This relationship lays the foundation for their child’s future intimate relationships.
As sexuality educators, we have an incredibly important opportunity to educate parents, grandparents and other primary caregivers on how to raise sexually healthy kids. This workshop will provide tools on working with families and help us begin to imagine a world in which all children are raised to see their sexuality as healthy, important and amazing.
Many people living with an STI are too ashamed to admit their diagnosis. In the de facto hierarchy of STIs, Herpes and HIV are widely considered to be the “worst” to get because they are not curable. In this panel, we combine the knowledge and experience of sex educators and public health professionals, two of whom are “out” about having STIs themselves. We’ll discuss sex and dating with an STI, as well as navigating the stigma that exists in daily life. Knowledge is more contagious than STIs. According to the CDC, 1 in 3 Americans have an STI. Those statistics make this an important and relevant discussion for all sexuality professionals.
Looking Down There: Sexuality and Dwarfism, Disability, Illness & Chronic Pain
Dr. Marylou Naccarato
“Bridging the Gap: From limitations to fulfilling your desires!” is the motto. Gain practical strategies for working with diverse disabled populations. Develop new perspectives in understanding the individualized sexual health needs of Little People (ie: dwarfism, aka “Little People” diagnosed as a medical or genetic condition that results in an adult height of 4’10″ or shorter), disabilities, illness & chronic pain.
A Clinical Sexologist, speaking from the POV as a “Little Person” will introduce an entertaining and educational innovative practical model in assessing complexities in clients’ with medical/social limitations to attain optimal fulfillment in sexual expression and pleasure.
Topics include: a discussion of relevant client accounts, research and case studies, intricacies of asexuality attitudes resulting from living in a medically modeled subculture driven society; coping mechanisms of congenital disability vs. acquired disability; a photo-videography narrative depicting the diverse dwarfism spectrum of what Little People “look” like today; assessment tools for common sexual/intimacy challenges; integrating spouse/partner/caregiver/family issues; techniques and alternative sex positions; live demonstration of new adaptive sexual enhancement devices; paths to client and practitioner perceptions in defining and addressing individualized sexual health; and a powerful breakthrough interactive exercise to confront disability biases and misconceptions.
AB 1576 is a bill sponsored by Michael Weinstein of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) and introduced by assembly member Isadore Hall (D- Compton) under the guise of “protecting adult film performers”. But if this bill is so good for performers, then why is the bill opposed by the vast majority of the very same adult film performers it is designed to protect?
Join us as we discuss the negative impact this bill has on adult film performers in California, with activists and educators who themselves have first hand experience in the pornographic industry. We will take a look at why so many performers are outraged that this most recent example of “rescue project” legislation and take a more detailed look at how this bill actually weakens existing testing protocols and opens workers up to greater risk on and off the set. Does this regulation actually save lives or does it have more a moralistic design on an already marginalized community?
In the past few years, the sex toy industry has seen more innovation & mainstream acceptance than all previous years combined. While a stronger grasp of design & functionality has been reached, an understanding of the materials they are made from seems to have become cloudy & full of misinformation. Materials have often been talked about, debated, & discussed but many of these conversations have focused around the notion of ‘toxicity’ rather than actual information about these materials & why they are used. What can contribute to people having sensitivities? Are all wood toys safe to use? What is elastomer? Is propylene glycol really antifreeze? Is there a difference between products made domestically vs overseas? As material misinformation continues to spread, it becomes clear that a stronger understanding of the reality of manufacturing & the reasoning behind particular material usage, must become part of the conversation. With decades of experience in the sex industry, our panel will discuss the history of how sex toys have been made, what materials have been used & what strides have been made in materials & manufacturing practices. We will discuss different products, some of the processes of manufacturing & how to be a more educated consumer, buyer, writer or sex educator.
Slut shaming, hookups, sexting, and porn. These are the backdrops to sex in the 21st century—and topics that receive robust media attention. This panel expands the conversation by highlighting recent events on college campuses, which are the site of both progressive change and regressive campaigns. Topics for discussion include organized attacks on abortion rights, crisis pregnancy centers, national attention to campus sexual assault, and conversations about kink, new media, and other explorations in sexual pleasure. Whether college is in our past or our future—or whether we attended the College of Life—campus issues are trial balloons for broader public concerns. These are issues that matter to us all.
Polyamory: The Personal, Political and Spiritual
Yoseñio V. Lewis
Being poly is seen as a personal choice but often spills over into other areas of our lives. This workshop will explore the complexities of being polyamorous in the context of personal, political and spiritual ideals. What happens if there’s a conflict in the ideals between/among the people involved in the relationships? How do you maintain your relationship(s) while honoring your ideals? Join us to discuss these deep issues and more in a safe non-judgmental space.
“Men of the Choir can join the Men’s Ministry if they’re ready to deal with their faulty wiring.” I dream about being with other men but I don’t act on it!” “Faggots don’t wanna listen to Dykes talk about eating p&*^^y and vice versa…you can’t put them in the same show!” “ President Obama lost my vote when he went against his Christian values by supporting gay marriage”. “White folks brought that gay shit to us, Africa didn’t have any gays before Europeans showed up…” are just a handful of LGBTQ slurs and criticisms shared within communities of color when the “mainstream” isn’t listening. Join a panel of Lesbian, Gay, Queer, and Straight artists/activists of color committed to strengthening understanding and acceptance amongst their sisters and brothers of varying sexual orientations. This panel challenges the concept of Sexual Tolerance as too short-sighted at time when gay marriage is supported by our current administration in Washington, DC and the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy of the United States Armed Services has been repealed, while, simultaneously, black and brown family members are still trying to “pray the Gay away” in their sisters, brothers, sons and daughters.
Self-Publishing for Fun and (Maybe) Profit
You wrote a book. Good on ya. Want other people to read it? Well, that’s a whole other ballgame. More authors and educators are choosing to self-publish their work to improve profit margins, retain control of their rights, and own their market. So. . . how do you do it? Join author Allison Moon as she gives you the basics.
· The steps to take from manuscript to book.
· Where to cut corners and where not to.
· How to self-publish on a shoestring
· What kinds of professionals you should hire
· How to format your ebook without going bananas.
· and more!
· Allison will help you decide if self-publishing is the right choice for you and show you the ropes!
Senior Sex: Lusting, Dating, and Mating
When Joan Price faces an audience or opens her email, she never knows what candid stories and intimate questions from people age 50-80+ are waiting for her. A medical issue that interferes with sexual enjoyment? Boredom with a partner? A partner’s indifference? Undependable erections? Decreased desire and slow arousal? The shock of being single again? Choosing a sex toy that works with arthritic wrists? Positions that work with hip replacement? Dealing with loss and grief? The trials and tribulations of dating at our age?
Since Joan started writing and talking out loud about older-age sexuality in 2005, she has received hundreds of real-life stories and requests for information. Most are deeply moving pleas for help about issues that often are not shared with their doctors, therapists, or even life partners. Some are distressing. A few are hilarious — sometimes we just have to laugh about sex and aging.
In “Senior Sex: Lusting, Dating, and Mating,” Joan shares what Boomers, seniors, and elders tell and ask her. She interweaves her own personal stories, from finding love in later life, to dealing with grief, learning how to date all over again, and re-emerging as a sexual being. For levity, Joan shares how she handles reporters who ask inane questions and men who insist on sending her penis pictures, and some of the oddest dating stories she’s been told. You don’t have to be a senior to learn from and enjoy this presentation!
Cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed diseases in our country and today’s survivors are living longer and fuller lives than ever before. For many, these lives include all sorts of sex and dating adventures. Unfortunately, sex is rarely discussed at any time during cancer care, often leaving survivors with questions, concerns, fear, and shame.
In this panel, we’ll be discussing the common sexual side effects of cancer and its treatments, medical options for dealing with these effects, tips for navigating sex, dating, and relationships after a diagnosis, and how to address safety concerns for survivors who engage in kink. The panelists will draw from their experience in medicine, sex education, and as cancer survivors to provide an intimate look into changes that cancer brings and how to deal with them all! This panel is ideal for anyone dealing with a chronic illness, their partners, treatment providers who want to learn more about working with this growing population, and anyone who has felt out of place in or betrayed by their body.
Due to popular demand we bring you some real world wisdom and a safe space to discuss how we can be good parents, teachers and educators, sexual beings, and give our kids the tools to combat slut shaming, negative sexual stereotypes, and navigate the landmines of identity politics, and sex negativity that permeates the media, pop culture, and everyday life. We want to raise solid citizens but we also believe that sexual health and education are key ingredients to a healthy and happy child/young adult. We invite you to enjoy some different perspectives that intersect and navigate class, race, adoption, orientation, gender, access, and disability.
Over the past few years vibrators have become more socially acceptable & have received increase, d cultural attention. As mainstream magazines & television shows continue to openly discuss & advertise vibrators, it demonstrates a fundamental shift in our societies willingness to openly discuss our (no longer) private lives. But this wasn’t always the case. Join us as we discuss the origins & evolution of the vibrator – from its beginnings as a medical device to its current position as a beloved pleasure product. Our panel will discuss how advancements in motors, materials, & technology has allowed vibrators to go from being a dirty little secret to an integral part of our sexual exploration & daily lives . As companies continue to improve packaging and create more inclusive marketing campaigns we look to what changes the future will bring to the industry & the products themselves.
Got a sex-positive cause you want to promote but remain unsure how to market yourself, your group or your organization effectively? Got the passion and drive but missing the marketing degree and the communication plan? Join this panel of expert sex-positive educators and activists as they share marketing tips designed to help you gain credibility, generate content and promote your ideas effectively. Attendees will learn how to use basic marketing tools such as speaking, blogging, social media and ebooks to build a following and promote themselves effectively.
Slut: “a person of any gender who has the courage to lead life according to the radical proposition that sex is nice and pleasure is good for you.” – The Ethical Slut
Sexual shame can be present in our homes, schools, families, in our hearts, and within our culture. Most of us grow up unaware of the societal messages that encourage us to shame sexual expression and develop perspectives that fuel judgments, misogynistic mindsets, double standards, violence, and various types of privilege. From middle school suicides to banks refusing service to adult industry performers, the repercussions of a slut shaming culture are all around us.
What is slut shaming? What factors and social constructs foster the perception that the right to sexual freedom and pleasure can be held against a person? What impact does slut shaming have on individuals, relationships, and society? What can we do about challenging the dominant discourse that creates harmful negative messages? How can we begin to plant the seeds of sex positive change?
In this session, we will look at the underlying dynamics associated with slut shaming, challenge the paradigms that support a slut shaming culture, and continue the much needed conversation towards challenging the assumption that those who think, feel or express their sexual identity should be targets of shame, guilt, violence, or inequality.
There’s increasing attention to the benefits and limits of using social media for online activism and communication. In this interactive panel we discuss the often productive, sometimes vexed, and occasionally divisive space of social media. From Facebook to Twitter (and even email), what ethical principles and rules of engagement would we ideally like to see? How can we engage in digital communication productively, with an eye toward enhancing dialogue about issues that matter to us, rather than silencing dissent or marginalizing differences? Is there a benefit to engaging with “trolls,” or is it simply an exercise in futility? We’ll discuss these and other issues regarding ethics, activism and social media, and brainstorm what principled rules of online engagement might look like.
What does it mean when you offer hands-on body work alongside education, empowerment, and healing to your clients? This panel features sex industry workers with different specialties—a pro domme, a tantra professional, a sex coach/sexological body worker—who incorporate sex-positive tools and strategies with elements from more “traditional” sex work. Panelists will share their individual journeys, how they define the work they do, and how they fit into the larger fabric of both sex educator and sex worker communities. They will explore common misconceptions about what they do, who their clients are, how their role as an educator and a healer manifests itself in their work, and what they see for the future of their unique fields of expertise.
Strange Bedfellows: joining the sex-positive community and people of faith
Frequently, sex educators encounter resistance to our work from people who base that resistance in their religious beliefs and values. We, as sex-positive people, often lack the language that would allow the most productive conversation. Many sex educators and religious leaders share some basic common goals: a better world to live in, where people are healthy and happy and children can grow and flourish. The difference in the details of how to best achieve those goals is where things break down.
In this workshop, we will discuss our goals and values as sex-positive people, consider the goals and values of some dominant faith groups, and how we can better meet people of faith through shared language, values, and human experience. What works for some people may not work for others; what works for some religious groups may not work for others. We will examine some of the key interests of several major faith groups in the US from whom we are likely to get resistance to our efforts, and strategize ways to address that resistance effectively. We will discuss some basic language and tactics to help us to have constructive conversations between people of faith and sex activists. We will see where we can find common ground, and what strategies may prove helpful in different scenarios. We will also discuss some effective ways to disengage without offending the other party.
Attendees will receive an information packet outlining the language and values of various faith communities and strategies to engage them.
That’s Not Funny! – Comedy and the sex positive movement.
Apparently some some things are OK to joke about… while other are not, but who gets to decide? What metric could a reasonable person could even use to judge something as personal humor? How should we respond if someone is offended by something we said or posted online? What are the most effective ways for us to combat attempts at humor that are antithetical to our causes? Join Dane Ballard, himself a sex-positive activist and former Comedian, as we discuss how comedy is used and miss used in our communities. We will try to flush out some general guidelines for being respectful to others without being forced to water down your sense of humor that is in itself, of tremendous value in the cause of sex-positive activism.
What about love? Radical sexuality and the new nonmonogamy
What does sex have to do with love, and what does love have to do with sex? What does love mean when you have 3 partners, a few cuddle buddies, a master and a sub of your own? This talk examines perhaps one the most written about and mysterious aspects of being human: love. In particular, we will examine what love is and what love means from the perspective of those living outside the heteronormative paradigm, such as the poly, the kinky and the queer. Once we move away from thinking that both love and sex are meant to be kept between two people at a time, it opens up a world of both possibility and hope.
We will be presenting an overview of themes in erotic art around the world that reflect unique and universal cross-cultural perspectives of sexuality. We will talk in between each segment with narrative about “What’s Hot in Erotic Art?” and provide you with a handout with these themes and noting the origins of the media, such as which country or source location. Q&A at end will round out this educational and entertaining experience.
These 4 dominant themes contained in the art documentary and narrative are:
1. Sexual empowerment
2. Outlet for repression or suppression: political, cultural, religious, emotional
3. Revealing cultural and/or historical values, norms and messages
4. Spiritual pathways for sexual ecstasy
Countries of origin include:
A. CHINA: Female sexual empowerment and reverence of sexuality from China and Hong Kong; showing examples from commercial art; ancient art and artifacts; revealing cultural heritage and spiritual values
B. CZECH REPUBLIC: Expressing the hidden through a panorama of Prague’s Sex Machine Museum artifacts, especially noting implements of torture such as gas and dog masks, body suspensions on the ceiling, a peep-holefucking box, priests’ robes on walls with holes for secret penetration and more…
C. USA: Political street art from the famed area known as “Miami’s Artwalk”
D: BELGIUM: The Brugges Dali Museum, showing his backlash against norms while pushing the outrageous, which includes wild and surrealistic imagery about bestiality, zoophilia, GLB, pan sexuality, BDSM, fetish, body modification and more…
E: CZECH REPUBLIC: Illustrations from the Prague Mucha Museum showing adoration of females and empowerment through playbills, money and stamps
F: USA: Cultural norms: A retrospective of XXX posters in artful representations as artifacts of culture
G: POLAND: A mini-documentary of the sacred tantra temple of Warsaw…and much more!
It’s probably a safe bet to say that most of those who attend Catalyst have some interest in or motivation toward social justice, empowerment, freedom, and communication. Because we are all invested in these ideas, events and communities based around them very often include people who have themselves been affected by marginalization and hegemony. This offers us an opportunity to hear diverse voices speak their own truth about their experiences and makes space to give voice to the voiceless as we search for solutions. Advocating in the mainstream world is a hard, draining battle, and these kinds of events and gatherings provide a chance for us to come together to rest and recuperate, to give and receive support from others, and to learn and teach about so many things. So what happens when advocacy is called for within the very community that is supposed to rejuvenate us? How do we work within our own systems to challenge privilege and increase awareness, and how does that work differ from the ways we fight in the mainstream community? Join the discussion as we talk about the social justice movement, potential barriers to communication, ways to resolve conflict, responsible use of social media, repairing ruptured relationships, and more.
Is conscious self-pleasuring or erotic massage just about the “happy ending”? Guided exploration is a sexually transformational experience. Sexological bodywork can be a great tool for the person who wants to get in touch with his or her sexuality, work through body image issues or just engage in a sexual experience without a “partner.”
Walker Thornton, sex educator (and former client of Will’s) and Will Fredericks, sexological bodyworker, will talk about the work on the table from both points of view. They’ll talk about the benefits, the cautions and the mechanics of using sexological bodywork to expand a personal sexual practice, to complement other coaching or therapeutic approaches and as a way of educating individuals or couples.